• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Woe are us, TV viewers. Remember when Bob Varsha smartly would say "turn up the volume" at the start of Formula One races so we could enjoy the roar of the high-revving engines? If anyone involved in the production of Formula E had a clue about what this series supposedly is all about (electric power), he/she would have instructed screaching announcer Jack Nicholls to shut up at the start of the series' debut in China, so we could have been shocked by the lack of such sound. Without that contrast, it looks like just another junior formula series (with ugly cars.) And then there was ESPN idiot Jonathan Coachman calling Brad Keselowski "brother" during a post-Chicagoland interview. Of course, Coachman wasn't credible reading his script as a pro wrestling announcer. Looks like a good candidate for White House spokesman.

Friday, October 30, 2009

AJA SHOW AUDIO LINK

AJ Allmendinger was the Newsmaker guest on Wednesday night's The Race Reporters show on Power Up Channel. The open-wheel-winner-turned-NASCAR-racer drives for Richard Petty and finished third in the Daytona 500. Dave Kallmann and Lewis Franck were media roundtable guests plus Paul Page previewed the final two NHRA events.

Listen to the entire show using this link:

http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=42053



Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

November 4 -- Mark Kent (GM Racing manager). Panelists: Bob Pockrass, Dave Argabright. Plus, World of Outlaws championship leader Donny Schatz.

November 11 -- Robby Gordon. Panelists: Bill Fleischman, Jim Pedley. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

November 18 -- NHRA Funny Car or Top Fuel champion. Panelists: Mark Armijo, John Sturbin.

[ more early next week . . . ]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A PR LINE CROSSED

Warning: This blog is not a White House-approved news outlet.

ANYONE with ANY interest in the media, or ANY involvement in PR, should be following the White House's attack on Fox News Channel with great and careful interest.

I've done my share of "aggressive" PR over the years so I understand what the deal is here. But, I'll also say, this is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen --and it's as sure to backfire as a '68 Buick.

To try to take down an opponent by attempting to undercut his/her/its legitimacy and credibility is nothing new. I admit: I've done it myself. To try to slap a tag on Fox News as not being a "real" news-gathering organization, however, crosses a line that's as wide as the front straight at Pocono. EVERY other news outlet, and journalist, should be offended. And say so.

Of course, those designations are no longer clear-cut. These days, when the choice is between defending a Constitutionally-protected profession or a cable food fight, well, the children outnumber the adults.

I'm not especially a Hannity fan and don't always agree with O'Reilly. (At least he allows guests who disagree with him, as opposed to the Hater-In-Chief, who accepts only members of his Hallelujah Chorus.) But, come on now, please, are we to swallow that MSNBC IS a legit news organization? The one that features the Hater-In-Chief (who actually called someone else "nuts" the other night) and the Ego-for-the-Ages? And any objective scrutiny will reveal the liberal bias of, let's use Andrea Mitchell as our example, which is well displayed on cable, does carry over into the laughably titled "straight" news on NBC. Which is presided over by Brian Williams, who masks his bias by saying he's a NASCAR fan. Not long after a week-long, networks-wide series promoting the benefits of Green (parent company GE stands to make billion$ off of these government programs), last week, they did it again, promoting an agenda under the guise of women's role in our society. As part of its so-called "reporting," not-ready-for-cable-access White House reporter Savannah Guthrie embarrassed herself yet again in interviewing the president.

CNN is legit? Here's a network which fact-checked a semi-critical Saturday Night Live skit on President Obama, but couldn't be troubled to verify a false quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh. The centerpiece of Campbell Brown's nightly train-wreck is called the "Mash-Up." That's inspiring.

The White House attack is the design of the Chicago street-fighter chief-of-staff, a communications director who said in a speech she admires Mao, and a press secretary constantly spinning his mental wheels.

Where's the outrage among the supposed professional journalism organizations? (A little credit, when Fox was banned from a standard "pool" interview last week, others did resist.)

Here's what this REALLY is about: For decades, the anchors and executive producers of the Big Three network news divisions would take their news cue off of what was on Page One of the New York Times. But, recently, FNC has been breaking stories too powerful to keep out of the public consciousness -- and the White House wants to stop others from following the FNC lead.

And, respectfully, Mr. Obama best remember this: He was elected to be president of all the American people. He's acting like he's refusing to be president of the Fox audience.

Anyway -- watch closely what's happening in Washington and learn -- the way it should NEVER be done. How petty -- and stupid. (!)


FAST LINES: As a baseball fan (and former member of the Baseball Writers Association) I have to say TBS' Chip Caray was as bad in the booth as the umpires on the field during the playoffs. I hate it that ESPN is out of playoffs coverage. And, Fox, please lock Darrell Waltrip in a room to watch Tim McCarver tapes so he can learn how expert analysis is supposed to be done . . . In case you haven't noticed, NASCAR's favorite, USA Today, has been reducing its coverage. In general, somewhat shorter stories, with less-prominent placement. And, some days, nothing . . . MSNBC airhead Contessa Brewer last week read an introduction to Al Sharpton but got this response -- "I'm the Rev. Jesse Jackson." Brewer -- "The script in front of me said Al Sharpton." I remember watching when a NASA administrator upbraided Brewer for her brainless questions. As a PR rep, I would turn-down any interview request from Brewer or her producers out of respect for my client . . . If Bob Griese really knew his NASCAR, he would have said Juan Pablo Montoya was out eating one of Martinsville Speedway's famous Jesse Jones hot dogs . . . The Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame has officially taken that honor back from Mel Martin, who sold Manzanita Speedway. This was a mistake. Future HoF candidates might wonder if they should accept as now Pandora's Box has been opened and they could face the embarrassment of having the honor taken away . . . I'll be NHRAing this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


Here's the best column of the year, no surprise, from Ed Hinton on ESPN.com:
http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/columns/story?columnist=hinton_ed&id=4584736


The American Media, October 18, 2009: Rob D'Amico, Fox and SPEED radio host, guesting on Wind Tunnel, regarding NASCAR's post-race inspections of the No. 48 and other cars. "They're all cheating." Of course, NO FACTS were offered to back-up this superficial-yet-inflammatory remark. Where are the network standards? Where is the accountability?


Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

November 4 -- Mark Kent (GM Racing manager). Panelists: Bob Pockrass, Dave Argabright. Plus, World of Outlaws championship leader Donny Schatz.

November 11 -- Robby Gordon. Panelists: Bill Fleischman, Jim Pedley. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

November 18 -- NHRA Funny Car or Top Fuel champion. Panelists: Mark Armijo, John Sturbin.

[ A.J. Allmendinger news nugget Thursday . . . ]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ANGELLE ANTRON'S NEW TEAMMATE?

TEAMMATES AGAIN?: Angelle Sampey (left) and Antron Brown. (Photo courtesy LesWelch.com).

Antron Brown, with five NHRA Top Fuel wins this season, was the Newsmaker guest on The Race Reporters Wednesday night on PowerUpChannel.com. He's fourth in the Full Throttle points with two chances left in the Matco Tools dragster. Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki and Larry Henry joined me for the journalists' roundtable.

Angelle Sampey, the three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, has made no secret she'd like to get into a nitro car and Brown might have hinted to us what the future will bring.

"We're helping her here at MAR (Mike Ashley Racing) and I'm helping her, as a family member. Of course, my wife's her cousin. It could do nothing but positive things for our sport, because when she rode a Pro Stock Bike, I think she was one of the top three out of the whole NHRA community, she's one of the top three drivers in the sport. To have her in one of the premier classes could only help our sport grow. I think there's some pretty serious stuff on the table right now. If everything goes well, it could be a really good addition to MAR . . . we've been working hard and she's been working hard. If this deal happens, it's going to be something that will be awesome for our whole sport."

Listen to the entire show using this link:
http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=41913

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

November 4 -- Mark Kent (GM Racing manager). Panelists: Bob Pockrass, Dave Argabright. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

[ more early next week . . . ]

Sunday, October 18, 2009

RUSH-ing OUT the WELCOME MAT

Life and business are about taking advantage of opportunities. Some NASCAR Sprint Cup team owners missed a big one last week.

Here's what I would have done, if I owned a team and needed an investment partner: I would have called Rush Limbaugh.

The conversative radio talk show host (let me admit, I've been an avid Rush listener since October 1988 -- and that doesn't mean I always agree with him) got railroaded by political correctness and flat-out lazy reporting/commentary and was dropped by a group trying to buy the NFL's St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh says he's not going to sue, but I would have immediately filed against every one of those talking heads who inaccurately repeated unsourced (and, to the best of my knowledge), false quotes attributed to Rush.

Here's a true fact: Very -- and I mean VERY -- few of the media talkers and political activists who teed-off on Limbaugh could withstand similar scrutiny of their personal and professional lives.

And, let me add, the almighty NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, came out of this looking as bad as, well, CNN's Rick Sanchez and MSNBC's David Shuster -- ego heavyweights/journalistic lightweights -- to name two. (Goodell's wife is Fox News anchor Jane Skinner and I wouldn't be surprised if her ratings take a short-term hit.)

The most enormous hypocrisy is Goodell and the media elites see no problem in NBC's Hater-In-Chief spewing tons of lunacy and divisiveness five nights a week on cable, but he's just fine for Sunday Night Football.

Anyway, if the NFL doesn't want Limbaugh, some Cup team owner should. (Please, don't even try to tell me Rush's controversial nature means he doesn't measure-up to the standards of some other owners. Check the record.)

I well remember Limbaugh's comments about Dale Earnhardt the day after The Intimidator died at Daytona. Rush admitted he hadn't met Dale, but was laser-on in explaining why Earnhardt had connected so powerfully with the American sports public. And, why, his passing triggered such an outpouring of grief.

If you doubt Rush would be enthusiastically welcomed by NASCAR fans, let's put it to a test: At Daytona, or Talladega, or Bristol, or Darlington, introduce four celebrities on the pre-race stage and let's see who gets the loudest ovation -- David Letterman and Brian Williams . . . or Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

I guarantee you, the liberal comic and liberal newsman won't accept the challenge. Their egos couldn't handle the embarrassment.

FAST LINES: Per last week's posting, suggesting racing Town Hall meetings, New Hampshire Motor Speedway communications director Fred Neergaard informs me Bruton Smith and Jerry Gappens, often joined by Marcus Smith, have held such gatherings with pre-race pit pass holders at both Sprint Cup events last year and this season. "The feedback that we get from the fans at these meetings is extremely important!!!," writes Neergaard . . . To begin Brickyard 400 ticket sales and start a fan contest to win a trip to the Sprint Cup awards ceremony in Las Vegas, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had Elvis impersonator/Indiana State Rep. Bruce Borders perform in the lobby of its administration building. Sad, what that tells us about IMS these days, and politicians . . . I thought David Pearson (to Richard Petty what Jack Nicklaus was to Arnold Palmer) would make the NASCAR Hall of Fame's first class and Bill France Jr. would lead the second group. Here's what I learned watching NASCAR Race Hub last week -- Rick Allen should not have had a NASCAR Hall of Fame vote. Too inexperienced to make such an important decision, one based largely on a strong historical knowledge of the sport. There were two other media judges picked on the basis of their title or media affiliation, not their personal knowledge of (or, in one case, interest in) the sport. I guess I should be glad Digger wasn't a voter . . . I'll say this for the second consecutive year -- It's ridiculous Formula One doesn't make the new world champion available on its world-feed video.

The American Media, October 10, 2009: Ex-ESPNer Stephen A. Smith appears on CNN -- to talk about health-care reform.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 21 -- Antron Brown. Panelists: Larry Henry, Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki.

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

November 4 -- Mark Kent (GM Racing manager). Panelists: Bob Pockrass, Dave Argabright. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

[ Anton Brown news nuggest Thursday . . . ]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SPERBER ON INDUSTRY COOPERATION

Bryan Sperber, president of Phoenix International Raceway, was my Newsmaker guest on Wednesday night's The Race Reporters show on Power Up Channel. PIR hosts the Sprint Cup Chase semifinal, the Nov. 15 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500k, plus USAC on Thursday night, Nov. 12; Camping World Trucks on Friday night, Nov. 13; and the Nationwide Series on Saturday, Nov. 14. Terry Blount, of ESPN.com; and Ron Lemasters Jr., of National Speed Sport News, came on for the journalists' roundtable and joined in questioning Sperber.

I asked Sperber about increased cooperation among track operators, drivers, teams and sponsors to out-reach to fans in this current economic environment:

"All of them, the tone of the conversation is, what can we do to help? I like to think that we also, on the track side, exhibit that same level of cooperation. We are able, as a sport, now to work together in ways that we didn't do years ago. The fans are going to benefit from that. The fans will be able to see this level of cooperation in our race weekend, as we did in April, we're going to have drivers and other personalities give of their time to do fan forums in our midway . . . I don't know that we could ever have pulled something like that off a few years ago."


Listen to the entire show using this link:
http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=41714


Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 21 -- Antron Brown. Panelists: Larry Henry, Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki.

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

November 4 -- Mark Kent (GM Racing manager). Panelists: Bob Pockrass, TBA. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

[ more early next week . . . ]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

TIME FOR RACING TOWN HALLS

Last week's announcement, via media teleconference, that NASCAR and its TV partners have agreed to earlier and more uniform starting times for 2010 Sprint Cup races was a welcome sign that the Powers-That-Be are listening to "real fans" -- as well as reading the ratings. (The memory of last February's rain-shortened season-starting-dud of a Daytona "500" remains strong after the Fox-mandated, ticket-buying public insulting, 3:42 p.m. EST green flag.)

NASCAR's release included this: "In making the decision . . . NASCAR consulted its Fan Council, comprised of 12,000 avid fans who serve as a sounding board on important topics."

Good. Now it's time to take the next step.

In August, the hottest action was not found on any NASCAR, NHRA or IRL track. It was in countless political Town Hall meetings, as American citizens exercised their Constitutional right to assemble and be heard by their so-called "representatives" in Washington, D.C. (Except in places like where I am, Scottsdale, Ariz., where our Democrat Congressman Harry Mitchell was afraid to come out in public and only connected with voters via a teleconference.)

I say NASCAR, as well as IRL and NHRA, should have their own Town Halls -- with "real fans" -- before the year is over.

NASCAR should have two -- Texas and Homestead make sense from a logistical and geographic standpoint. I bet SPEED would provide its stage for Brian France, Mike Helton and Jim Hunter. Some car owners, drivers and sponsor reps also should participate. NHRA could do this at Pomona before its Full Throttle finale, and ESPN2 has the platform for its pre-race show to offer Tom Compton, Graham Light and Jerry Archambeault. Whatever IndyCar Series fans who might still be out there could be invited to the Brickyard Crossing in the next few weeks to interact with whoever will, by then, be running the show at the League and the Speedway. I realize it might be tough to get top-name drivers to attend, since an American has not won a series race since Ryan Hunter-Reay at Watkins Glen -- in July of LAST year.

Such Town Halls would make good business sense and certainly would be a PR hit with those who actually spend money on tickets, concessions and souvenirs. I'm sure they would generate a nice slice of positive media coverage, too.

The only two unknowns are: 1) Who will man-up to the challenge? 2) Who will make excuses not to hear from the customers?


In a year of weak-tea pit reporting being passed-off as bourbon, add Chris Neville's interview with Roger Penske during Saturday's Grand-Am finale at Homestead. Twice, while talking to Penske, SPEED's Neville said he "hoped" Roger's Rolex Series team would return in 2010. Hey, Chris, why didn't you ASK Roger -- yes or no -- if he was coming back? (!) Fans deserve better, and it's long-past time for the sanctioning organizations to demand it from their TV "partners."


Interview request: I would dearly love to talk with the Pepsi person responsible for making successful the sponsorship of last weekend's Pepsi 500 at Auto Club (California) Speedway. As part of the track's new policy to charge journalists for media-center meals (and, I say again, providing food is a courtesy, not an obligation), the options available to non-payers were the coffee pot and bottled water. PR Kindergarten should have taught someone, anyone, that comp Pepsi for reporters covering the Pepsi 500 was so obvious as to not even need to be mentioned. I'd call this dumb, but I don't want to insult dumb people . . . That sound I heard Sunday wasn't engines revving, but PR giants like Jim Chapman, Jack Duffy, Bill Dredge and Dick Ralstin -- who understood real PR centered around developing good one-on-one relationships with journos -- calling down from heaven, "Don't do it!"


Here's a link to my new "All Business" column in the October Drag Racing Online.com:
http://dragracingonline.com/columns/knight/xi_10-1.html



Gil de Ferran did his second retirement the same way as his first. Saturday, at Laguna Seca, he started on pole and won the ALMS finale in his self-owned Acura. In 2003, that's how Gil wrapped his IndyCar career -- pole and win at Texas Motor Speedway. It doesn't matter if you're a NASCAR or NHRA fan, you should listen to the smart things Mr. Gil said on The Race Reporters last week. Here's the show link:
http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=41510


The American Media, October 7, 2009: Today -- produced by NBC's NEWS division, had its "journalists" dress-up in 1970s style. Why? To mark the 35th anniversary of People magazine.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 14 -- Bryan Sperber (president, Phoenix International Raceway). Panelists: Terry Blount, Ron Lemasters Jr.

October 21 -- Antron Brown. Panelists: Larry Henry, Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki.

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

November 4 -- Mark Kent (GM Racing manager). Panelists: Bob Pockrass, Greg Zyla. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

[ Bryan Sperber news nugget Thursday . . . ]

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

WHAT 'THE MOST INTERESTING MAN' HAD TO SAY

In one of the best The Race Reporters shows yet, Gil de Ferran was the Newsmaker guest Wednesday night on Power Up Channel. Gil is retiring -- for the second time -- after Saturday's ALMS season finale at Laguna Seca to focus on team ownership. Ten years ago, I wrote a column calling Gil "The Most Interesting Man in Motorsports," and he proved it again on my show.

We had a great journalists' roundtable with Mike Harris and Gordon Kirby, who stayed on to help interview Gil. Actually, what we had was a good conversation. Among the questions Gil answered: Having gone through retirement once before, will it be easier for him to deal with his emotions at Laguna? What's more fun, driving an Indy Car or ALMS Acura? What's the status of his team for 2010? What was the difference in driving for Jackie Stewart vs. Jim Hall? Does he regret not driving in Formula One? What should the next generation of Indy Cars be like? (Hint: GREAT answer and I agree with Gil completely on this!)

In a question you couldn't put to a lot of people, I asked Gil, as a team owner in an American series, is his responsibility to hire the best available driver for his team and sponsors, or, perhaps, to help build the series by taking on a qualified American?

"I think my greater responsibility is always to put the best available driver behind the wheel. As a team owner, I've always thought that way. Even in the sports car program, we always felt that way. I have to say, as a driver, and not American born, I actually benefitted from that attitude from several team owners and two American team owners. One was Jim Hall and the other was Roger Penske. My opinion is a simple one: I think there are some very good, very talented, American drivers. In fact, some very good ones currently racing in Indy Cars. The one who particularly comes to mind is Graham Rahal, who is extremely young, and extremely talented. He's already getting some great results. I think the reason you don't see more American drivers coming to prominence is a simple one. It has to do with the success of NASCAR, and the draw NASCAR has in the younger generation. From an early age, many of the drivers who would have the potential to be successful in Indy Car racing, takes to a different branch of the sport and grows toward finding a ride in NASCAR. Hopefully, if Indy Car regains its rightful place in the world of motorsports, that will change."

Listen to the entire show using this link:
http://www.blogger.com/www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=41510

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 14 -- Bryan Sperber (president, Phoenix International Raceway). Panelists: Terry Blount, Ron Lemasters Jr.

October 21 -- Antron Brown. Panelists: Larry Henry, Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki.

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

[ more early next week . . . ]

Sunday, October 04, 2009

GIL GUESTS 3 DAYS BEFORE GOODBYE

I will consider it a great pleasure to welcome Gil de Ferran (left, photo courtesy of Dan R. Boyd) to The Race Reporters on Wednesday, 7 p.m., on the Power Up Channel. (Click on show logo in right-hand column to listen.)

I had the joy of working with Mr. Gil for two years in CART. He's one of the smartest -- and nicest -- people I've ever met. Ten years ago, I wrote a column calling him "The Most Interesting Man in Motorsports." It was true then, when we talked about issues ranging from world affairs to U.S. politics to gun control to movies to TV production and ratings. And, it's true now, as he prepares to retire from driving for the second time.

I'll let you in on a secret: Even when he captured consecutive CART championships in 1997 and 1998, Alex Zanardi thought de Ferran was Honda's true favorite son.

After winning two PPG Cups and the 2003 Indianapolis 500, and increasingly concerned about the IRL's pack racing format, de Ferran retired. The record shows that, at that last event, at Texas Motor Speedway, he took the pole and race victory. A brief stint as an ABC/ESPN commentator followed but then Honda offered the opportunity to Gil to be sporting director of its Formula One team. One of Gil's key hires was Rubens Barrichello, now contending for the world championship for Ross Brawn, who took over the Honda team this season.

He returned last year as owner-driver to help develop Acura's ALMS P1 class car. With four wins this season, he has an outside shot at the championship in Saturday's finale at Laguna Seca. Since I passionately believe that, once a driver retires, he should never get back in a car, I'll be happy when the checkered flag waves. I'm hoping the story will end the same way it did at Texas six years ago.

Mike Harris and Gordon Kirby, who have covered all of Gil's career in America, will join me for the journalists' roundtable. They'll stay on as we talk with Gil in two segments in the show's second half-hour.


Let me say this once again: Hiding behind an E-mail is no substitute for the personal communication of a telephone call. Especially when it comes to media relations.

I'm not going to get into specifics, but I had two bad experiences last week. In one, the response to a long-scheduled but botched interview was a weak E from an experienced publicist. Only when I called him out on that did I get a phone call. In the other case, a lesser experienced person admitted to a bad bit of mis-scheduling, but at least she called right away when she realized the problem. It was a major hassle, took a lot of effort, but we worked out a solution.


To showbiz and society publicists, getting on the New York Post's Page Six is like going to Mecca. How to do that? Some tips that apply elsewhere, too:
http://http//www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/pitches/how_to_plant_an_item_in_page_six_136581.asp


Mike Kerchner, National Speed Sport News senior editor, commented on the Juan Pablo Montoya satellite TV fiasco on TRR. I give the last word to what was in Chris Economaki's notebook last week (and I agree):

"Drivers tend to stick around when television is involved. Montoya didn’t. But when it comes to print media, it is common for drivers — and their public relations representatives — not to show up, to be late and to not return phone calls."


The American Media: September 23, 2009: The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner headline caption with a photo of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's speech in Hong Kong -- "A Broad in Asia." (The paper printed an apology.)

The American Media, October 2, 2009: The NBC/MSNBC and CNN coverage of Chicago's failed bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. It represented cheerleading at its worst and lazily not bothering to educate themselves about the byzantine machinations of International Olympic Committee politics. Just a couple of hours before the IOC eliminated Chicago on the first ballot, Natalie Morales said on MSNBC from Copenhagen, "It's Chicago's to lose." She added, "It's Chicago's time" and rattled on about President Obama's "rock star" appearance at the IOC meeting and how IOC members "rushed" to meet Obama. (Based on media reports, I thought the world loved U.S. now that George W. Bush is out of office and Obama is in.) A perfect example of why all the surveys show the public's greatly diminished confidence and trust in what the media reports.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

October 14 -- Bryan Sperber (president, Phoenix International Raceway). Panelists: Terry Blount, Ron Lemasters Jr.

October 21 -- Antron Brown. Panelists: Larry Henry, Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki.

October 28 -- A.J. Allmendinger. Panelists: Dave Kallmann, Lewis Franck. Plus, Paul Page.

[ Gil de Ferran news nugget Thursday . . . ]